Video Length: How Long Should My Videos Be?

Hey there, video marketers and vloggers – this is one of the first questions I’ve heard over and over. Should my video be under a certain length of time? What’s the best length for a marketing video?

However you cut it, the plain and simple fact is that your video should be as long as it needs to be. It’s my belief that while there are all sorts of statistics around ‘optimum video length’ based on the amount of time people watch for – there are so many factors that will impact this metric I don’t think it’s wise to follow a rigid formula.

One really important thing to remember is that as your video plays over time, you will lose people. They’ll click somewhere else, keep scrolling – whatever else gets their attention. There’s no way of escaping this.

A study by video hosting and analytics company Wistia showed that videos between 4-5 minutes in length will lose around 40% of its viewers by the end, compared with around 25% viewer drop-off by the end of a 1-2 minute video. Overall, this isn’t that surprising – longer videos have more chance of people dropping off. That’s just common sense.

So if shorter videos have a higher rate of completion, does this mean that you should make all of your videos short? Heck no!

It’s all about purpose and message. When it comes to video length, the choice is completely up to you.

Here are a few things to consider when it comes to structuring your video and keeping to some sort of time – whatever you choose that to be.

  1. You should get to your point quickly

Be conscious of the time viewers are spending watching your video, and do what you are there to do. For example, your video exists to answer a customer’s question, then answer that question as quickly as you can. If you’re spending forever getting into things, and rabbiting on (especially about yourself – come on now!) people will go elsewhere. Just get to the point!

Naturally, there will be times when you need to explain the whys, hows, and whats – but that can wait, if even for a little while. Even if the initial answer is ‘it depends’, you’ll naturally follow this with ‘and here’s why’.

If you want people to stay with you, give them a reason to.

That brings me on to my second tip…

  1. Keep things entertaining

This isn’t about grabbing people’s attention by being all CRAZY and whatnot, but do try to hold on your audience’s attention. Do what you say you’re going to do, and don’t be dull and boring – try to sound interested in what you’re saying.

Be sure to keep smiling, and show a little enthusiasm or emotion. After all, you can’t expect a viewer to care about what you’re saying if you don’t sound like you care either.

  1. Give viewers a heads up

Say you’ve got a list of points that you are going to cover in your video; to answer a question in full, or to go into detail about a particular topic. This is all OK, but if you’re about to talk through a few points, help them understand this early on in the video and tell your audience that you’re about to go through these things. This way, your audience will understand why they should stick with you until the end – and they might also find they learned a bit more than they expected to.

Ultimately, the length of your video does matter, but you need to think about whether it’s in your audience’s interest to watch it, and what you can do to help them to want to. If you’re crystal clear on your message and the purpose of the video, then as long as you do what you’re there to do then the chances are you’ll get people watching through to the end.

Be concise, be engaging, and be helpful.

Got questions about video you’d like me to answer? Jump into the comments below, or get in touch with me directly.

Until next time, keep it rad!